Celine Dion Gets Personal About Spending Her First Christmas Without Late Husband René

Celine Dion has an emotional holiday season ahead of her.

Nearly one year since her beloved husband, René Angélil, lost a longtime battle with throat cancer, the singer reflected on his passing in an interview with Page Six published online on Thursday. While Celine admitted to the outlet that the time since Rene’s death has moved more quickly than she anticipated, she is determined to maintain a positive outlook.

“I can’t believe it’s going to be a year that my husband passed. I don’t know when Santa Claus is coming, but if I had a wish to make this year, can you just tell him to take his time?” she told the publication. “I’m not ready! It’s kind of a bittersweet moment and at the same time we need to really make the holidays really happy.”

Celine explained her resolve to keep moving forward as a trait she’s always possessed, despite her current grieving process.

“I cannot just live on like, ‘I lost my husband, my children have no father,'” she said. “I have to stand tall and strong because this is my way of living. Stand tall, be positive, pick your battles, do the best you can and to live for today, not for tomorrow, for today, and know nothing is perfect, not everything you want will happen.”

Married for more than 20 years, Celine and René first met when she was just a 12-year-old budding singer in Canada. He launched her career and served as her music manager from then on, including after they wed in 1994.

The “Power of Love” singer told Page Six that she’s planning to take her and René’s three sons – René-Charles, 15, and 6-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy – on the family’s Christmas skiing trip to Montana. For Celine, keeping the tradition is a way for her and the boys to honor René’s memory together. 

“I feel thankful that he doesn’t suffer and he doesn’t have to worry because we got him. He got us and the spirit of the holidays will get us together again,” she said, recalling how René enjoyed their time in Big Sky country.

“He put some something magic into that snow, into those mountains, and every time we go down, I go down with him,” Celine told the outlet.

“My children go down thinking about him. Every time I take the lift to go up, I feel closer to him,” she added.

As for how the family will continue to cope, Celine said she doesn’t think of the journey as long-term. Rather, it’s all about staying in the moment.

“We are healing each day,” she told the outlet.  “My kids are doing really well and eventually you have to just move on. Yesterday is over, tomorrow is not here yet, so today is today.”

— Erin Biglow